Although the “lighthouse purist” might not classify these structures as a lighthouse, such was not the case with famous lighthouse engineer Ralph Russell Tinkham who took these photos of the Atlantic Point Light, Portage Lake in the north edge of the city of Houghton, Keweenaw Point, Lake Superior, Michigan; as well as the Cole Creek and Harrington Lighthouses. Mr. Tinkham called each and every one of them a “lighthouse.”
The Atlantic Point Light had an oil burning lens which was set out on a shelf in front of the structure each night by the keeper who also cared for several other lights in the vicinity. A duplicate of this structure, called the Osceola Point Light, was situated below the Atlantic Point Light on the other or Hancock side.
The Cole Creek Light and the Harrington Island Light, both shown here, were typical of other lights such as Princess Point Light and High Point Light that were also on Portage Lake, north of Houghton and were just a little more elaborate than the Atlantic Point and Osceola Point Lights.
Photographs of the lightkeepers or lamp-lighters who maintained these beacons have been as elusive as have the memories or stories about their lives. Our thanks go out to Terry Pepper, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association, who first informed us about the beacons. Photographs are courtesy of Lee Radzak, Site Manager, Split Rock Lighthouse, Minnesota.
This story appeared in the
Jul/Aug 2013 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.
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